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  1. Here's a weird screen I got logging into Randalls.com It's probably just a stupid error, but it could also be an intentional leak that they plan to rebrand Randalls as Safeway. Which would be just about the dumbest thing they could do in my opinion. If they were going to rebrand the stores for some reason, I'd go with Tom Thumb, which at least has a presence in Texas. People in Houston would have no opinion of Tom Thumb, where they might have a significant opinion of Safeway or even Albertsons.
  2. Modest updates were made. A few new files, plus the categories are in a table that show when that category was last modified. (Any category with a blank was modified over a year ago). https://hctra.co
  3. How many condo complexes have actually voted to sell out and be demolished? I'm in the market for a condo now most likely inside the Beltway. I'm curious how many condo complexes have actually voted to sell out and be demolished? (If you don't know my backstory I was one of the last old Westcreek residents before all the towers went up). I only know of the one, somewhere near the West Loop and I can't recall the name right now. It was on Swamplot though (RIP :( ) If you can recall any others please post them. What are typical % of owners required to sell out to demolish? (It seems to be quite north of 50%) Of course, if developers offered enough - if they truly made it worth the owners' while, then bye bye, I'm not stupid and won't hold up a good deal. I'm just curious as to what has happened before.
  4. It seems like store traffic is up from my informal observations. Noticing a lot of people in the self checkouts not bothering with a card anymore.
  5. I have used METRO several times, mainly to get to/from auto repair shops when a friend couldn't take me. I actually found it to be well air conditioned, safe, and not even full those several times. In fact one time she (the bus driver) even let me on for free, due to the bill reader would not take my wrinkled bill (I do not have a Q card) and she wanted to move things along I guess. Maybe she thought I couldn't afford it but I wasn't going to argue with her either. I think I also used METRO one time to get to jury duty, in that case you just show the summons and you can get to wherever you need to go. I do not think rebranding would be worth the considerable expense (in terms of ROI - I don't think they'd gain that much new ridership).
  6. The updated HCTRA.CO site is now live: https://hctra.co Now featuring Sans-Serif fonts! Finally joining the 21st century 😛
  7. What if you instead looked at it this way? I personally almost never take the toll roads. I go to see my mom almost every week for Sunday dinner (driving from Westheimer to 249), and those trips occur on State Highway Beltway 8 (aka the feeder), instead of the toll road. Out of ~100 trips (50 x 2) in the past year, I took the toll road only twice due to extenuating circumstances. However, I still benefit from "[the diversion of] money from HCTRA to use on other government functions, with initial withdrawals being used to supplement flood control funds" as stated by "Houston Freeways author Oscar Slotboom" on MaxConcrete's blog. I am enjoying those improvements without having really contributed any money whatsoever (not even $10 total in total tolls spent). So is that like I am not paying taxes in those cases??? I don't see at _all_ how it's fair that the toll road users alone should be paying for these massive improvements to flood control and roads unrelated to the toll roads. If we want to improve non-toll roads and flood control we need to pass the appropriate tax increases and/or bonds (as we did with the flood bond post Harvey, that I voted for). There is an infamous rumor that HCTRA promised to make the toll roads free after the bonds were paid off. In fact, the rumor is true. Unfortunately, the only original proof is on an old ABC13 article, which I link to from my alternate site at https://hctra.us. Fortunately, HCTRA actually provides proof in every contemporary financial report they have published! Here is their statement from the FY2010 report (source http://hctra.co/financials/Toll Road FY2010.pdf): But HCTRA keeps "[diverting] money from HCTRA to use on other government functions". Hundreds of millions of dollars a year! How could they *ever* pay off their obligations in Note 7 under such conditions? Not to mention the "pooling of projects" (exact term might be different) which occurred in a commissioners' court meeting approximately two weeks after 9/11 (source http://hctra.co/commissioners/0119ag.pdf), which basically blends the financials for all of the toll roads all together instead of each one being a separate project. That makes the proposal on MaxConcrete's blog "toll removal should be facilities which have generated far more revenue than their original cost... the original three sections of the Sam Houston Tollway" almost if not completely impossible! The entire System, in my opinion, has been carefully orchestrated to be never-ending, and to make up for shortfalls in the County budget that are more appropriately addressed by other means (issuance of bonds and/or tax increase and/or reduction of budget in other areas, etc.)
  8. The fried chicken is pretty good, with a sale every Monday. I do see a lot of people carrying that out (from the 2 stores I frequent - haven't been to Midtown in a few years and only a few times since it opened). If they'd just advertise the "no card needed now" angle they'd surely regain a not insignificant number of customers who are turned off by the card. You can attribute this to Albertson's being the apparently successor company out of the Safeway/Albertson's merger. (Besides, who needs those cards to track people anymore? You can just track them using their Debit or Credit Card #, or maybe Bluetooth/WiFi pings off their phone.) Maybe put the Boar's Head back, I honestly could give a crap, but I've seen a lot of people grousing about that. There are still some benefits to the card, you still get the gas points and also a free item every month. The points are redeemable at either Shell or Chevron, I forget which one it is now (as well as the Randalls gas stations all 5 or whatever of them).
  9. So, I don't want to suggest this as a general policy. But I was basically ~ok~ with that during the worst of the pandemic you know? I still had drive to my mom's place weekly, you know? Her car is fu**ed up. I'd bring her groceries and stuff. And who was right there on my way? Memorial Dr. Randalls. Awesome store there.
  10. Updates: FY 2019, 2020, and 2021 have been added to the site. (HCTRA has a nasty habit of deleting these after they get too old. We will archive every year in perpetuity.) Also, the PDF names have been standardized. Please feel free to link directly to PDFs in the Financials directory. https://hctra.co/financials/ Luminare makes a valid point here, I will be updating the main page soon since it now contains inaccurate information.
  11. So, it looks like all Houston area Sears have closed. :(
  12. So here's a letter I wrote to Randalls the other day. I submitted using their app, which has always gotten a response for other issues I have complained about using said app. In summary: Randalls, please grow some balls and actually f*cking compete in this market! Edit: The below mentioned Westheimer store was historically a 24 hour store long ago. Randalls' operation of 24 hour stores is mentioned in this Houston Press article: https://www.houstonpress.com/news/where-are-they-when-you-need-them-6573131 and I also have an old picture of the Westheimer store (9660 Pre Rebuild) with 24 hour signage somewhere.
  13. I just saw an actual Randall's TV commercial on one of the Vizio/Pluto Watch Free channels on my TV! It was short (15 seconds), and probably generic - "Visit your local INSERT_STORE_NAME_HERE today" - but it was a legitimate ad for Randall's.
  14. Chron.com has posted more pictures of Boris Yeltsin visiting Randalls #30. It has been said that Yeltsin "was so overwhelmed by the variety of food that his faith in Communism was shattered." It wasn't even a Flagship Randall's. Now it's a Food Town. https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/When-Boris-Yeltsin-went-grocery-shopping-in-Clear-5759129.php
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